Cuts could hit library opening times

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 06 December 2013 Updated: 06/12 11:26

LIBRARY opening hours could be slashed in a bid to plug a funding black hole in the county council's books.

Cutting the hours at Redditch and Woodrow Libraries is among the options being considered by bosses attempting to find £100,000 of savings before April 2014.

Possibilities also include other Worcestershire County Council services moving into the central library in Market Place - which was refurbished at a cost of £820,000 in 2009/10 - which would see them pay rent to the libraries department.

Kathy Kirk, strategic libraries and learning manager, said reducing opening hours was the 'last resort' and if a longer-term solution came forward they would look at reinstating the longer hours.

The news was revealed at a Redditch Forum meeting hosted by county councillors representing the borough.

Coun Joe Baker said: "The council has spent all this money on refurbishing libraries and making them great community assets.

"Why are we reducing the hours of opening if they are such wonderful places to go to?"

Coun Pattie Hill called on volunteers to come forward and help maintain the current level of service.

Following the meeting Ms Kirk added: "We welcome volunteers to help in all our libraries and we have a number of different roles. Anyone interested can get in touch with library manager Jodie Ford in the first instance and we will be holding an event in the new year to tell people more about what and how to get involved."

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